Hustopečské skákání
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20. ročník Hustopečského skákání 24. a 26. ledna, Memoriál Mileny Hübnerové

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The history of the High Jump discipline

21.1.2019

The history of the High Jump discipline

This discipline does not appear in ancient Antique games, but these competitions were ordinary for Celtic tribes. The High Jump has more than a century-old tradition as a modern sport discipline. The first competitions were organized in England in 1840 and the rules were introduced in 1865 when each competitor had three jumps allowed at each altitude. The first remarkable performance was recorded in 1867, when H. Gooch jump an overwhelming height 167.6 cm. A significant improvement was made by using a new method -the "scissors" technique. It was performed by William Page in 1877, who jumped 193 centimeters using that. In 1912, George Horine joins the athletic world. With his new style, which was named the Western roll, he conquers a height of 200 cm for the first time.

Until 1936, the rule was that the bar must be overtaken by the feet first, which hindered the development of the jumping techniques. Today, the only rule for High Jumpers is to bounce off the ground with only one foot. In 1941, Les Strees came with a new style "straddle" and surpassed 211 cm. The revolutionary change was brought by Dick Fosbury"s  in 1968 and got a name ’’Flop’’. The resulting body position on bar clearance is laid out and therefore the pad must be soft and safe. Today, the "flop" is used by all world"s top high jumpers. The first women"s high jump competition was held in 1895 in USA. In 1928 it became one of the women athletic disciplines at Olympic Games.

Men milestones:
First over 200 cm   George Horine USA 1912
First over 215 cm    Charles Dumas USA 1956
First over 220 cm    John Thomas USA 1960 - 222 cm
First over 230 cm    Dwight Stones USA 1973 - 230 cm
First over 240 cm     Rudolf Povarnitsyn URS 1985 - 240 cm

Another developments of the World Best:
241 cm  Igor Paklin 1985
242 cm  Patrik Sjöberg 1987
243 cm  Javier Sotomayor 1988
244 cm  Javier Sotomayor 1989
245 cm  Javier Sotomayor 1993

Women milestones:
First over 170 cm              Fanny Blakers - Koen NED 1943 - 171 cm
First over 180 cm              Iolanda Balasová ROM 1958
First over 190 cm              Iolanda Balasová ROM 1961
First over 200 cm              Rosi Ackermannová GDR 1977 – 201 cm
First over 205 cm              Tamara Bykova URS 1984

Another developments of the World Best:
207 cm Ludmila Andonova BUL 1984
208 cm Stefka Kostadinova BUL 1986
209 cm Stefka Kostadinova BUL 1987

In the history of High Jump there also have been dishonest athletes. For example in 1924 the Olympic winner, American Herold Osborne, pushed the bar to the stands to prevent a fall. That is why the supports on which the bar is laid are adjusted so that no such cheates can be seen.

In 1957, during one competition, Soviet jumpers added a very thick outsole (4cm) to their shoes. Thanks to this sole, the shoes worked like a real trampoline. Therefore the sports federation defined the sole thickness of the jumping boots at a maximum of 1.25 cm.

World Heights in Hustopeče

For nineteen years of Hustopečské Skákání, we could have seen a lot of great athletes. Some of them like competitors, others as coaches or meeting guests. Do you know, for example, how many Olympic, World or European champions have been in Hustopeče hall? Here is their overview: